Research at Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology

Researchers at Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) collaborate across nine different departments to discover and innovate new ideas, inventions and improve on our quality of life — all made possible by state of the art facilities and equipment.

WIN research is global. Its membership is interdisciplinary and collaborative. Its focus is on the future and on improving the quality of life for all.

Discovery & Innovation

Science and discovery are at the heart of our research. But it is our commitment to real-world innovation and application engineering that defines nanotechnology research at WIN.

We believe that discovery and innovation happens at the interfaces of traditional disciplines. For that reason, WIN research faculty are drawn from nine departments: Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmacy, Physics, and Systems Design Engineering.

Research Thematic Areas


Smart and Functional Materials

Smart and Functional Materials can be engineered to be dramatically stronger, conductive, reactive, reflective or optically tuned. Our scientists and engineers are working from the fundamentals and applying their thorough knowledge and expertise to devlopment such materials.

This includes but is not limited to fundamental condensed matter physics, soft matter, materials characterization, nanomaterials,  graphene and other 2D materials, quantum materials, nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, DNA self-assembly, biomaterial and nanocellulose, new materials for additive manufacturing (i.e., 3D printing), protein, enzymes, biopolymers, biomaterials, electronic and photo-active materials.

Connected Devices

Connected Devices

Connected devices are changing the way that communication, measuring, and connecting can be done with each other or with interfaces. Full and complete nanosystems that can be used in real-life applications are the target for this thematic area.

This includes but is not limited to sensors (quantum-, nano- and microsensors), MEMS/NEMS, flexible electronics, wearable devices, lab-on-chip, use of internet-of-things and artificial intelligence for sensors, human-machine interfaces, photonic-devices and other connected devices.


Solar Panels

Next Generation Energy Systems

Powering the world of tomorrow, Next Generation Energy Systems work on harnessing energy and sustainable technologies. New and innovative systems are being developed from the core by our scientists and engineers.

This includes but is not limited to fundamental understanding of transport processes in energy devices, battery, fuel cells, solar cells, catalysis, low-carbon sustainable technologies, artificial photosynthesis.


Therapeutics and Theranostics

Curing and preventing the outspread of diseases, infections and abnormalities. WIN members are engineering new methods of medical practices and making innovative advancements in this thematic area.

This includes but is not limited to targeted drug delivery, tissue engineering, minimally invasive treatment of diseases, immunotherapy, and medical imaging.